26 Sep 2013

Internship at Wylie Design

Hello Dear Gentle Folk,

Sorry to have kept you in the dark.

I was very fortunate to have been able to experience a very generous Internship at the Graphic Design company Wylie Design in Covent Garden last week! Even though it was short, I had an incredible time and squeezed as much out of the experience as I could. I gained a lot of insight into a graphic designer's mind and even got fed takoyaki by a super lovely and talented web developer! I am currently preparing a present for the studio through which I am yearning to express my utmost thanks! (Please expect something in the post if you are reading this, guys~!)

I learnt a lot through feeling the every-morning of the London commute alone. I had taken a fifteen minute walk through open fields to get to the train station, before the roar of the underground sent me into a world of excitement and bustle. The feeling of waking up at the same time each morning to begin work is so inspiring. As someone just starting up- the internship really set me hungry for this kind of rhythm, and I have been applying it to my own art practice since. I am finding that it is not at all difficult, as it's just what I love.

The company set me an assignment to design a poster promoting one or more of the landmarks of Covent Garden. Researching was a wonderful opportunity to explore the area, and I gave generous attention to the feel, shapes and sounds of Covent Garden Market, the London Transport Museum, the Royal Opera House, and Somerset House.

Somerset House really surprised me on wandering through. Much of the building had been transformed for London Fashion Week with pop-up fashion shops and hair salons which only VIPs could enter. Majestic creatures glided over the cobblestone, through the elegant doors and in between the toughest bouncers. Taking centre stage of Somerset House were the famous catwalks of which I had only seen the magic of in magazines, fashion blogs and television. Whilst mainly black, part of the exterior of the catwalk area was lit up in reflective, angular-silver. People were dressed so exuberantly that I had to remind myself that they were human!

I managed to take a peek in Somerset's inspiring stationary and book shop just as the clouds unleashed their downpour. When I came out, it was still raining heavily, and the centre which had been riddled with these beautiful fashion-creatures, was left completely sparse.

In more recent times, I have only ever passed through Covent Garden Market or used it as a point to meet with friends, so I was ecstatic that I was finally able to explore the area. I used the opportunity to pay a visit to The Moomin Shop, as I have been so keen to visit it for a long time as a huge fan and admirer of Tove Jansson and all her work!

The shop can be spotted through a beautiful sky-blue sign which hangs off a row of shops in the Apple Market. To reach it, you enter the archway, make a turning at the Moomin postbox, and enjoy your ascension on twisting stairs and Tove-painted walls. At the top, you may just spot my friend who works there! I was very tempted to write to Snuffkin.

My most enjoyable experience exploring was within the Royal Opera House. Red carpet, expansive paintings and gold fixtures. It was truly as grand as the theatre, ballet, and opera it is famous for presenting! Love-sewn costumes and original drawings behind glass on the ground floor; magnificent deposits of Audrey Niffenegger's Raven Girl ballet adaptation. I went up to the terrace to overlook the Covent Garden area, lit up in sun and catching a winging in the breeze.

The utmost excitement came soon after this, in getting lost. I'd passed through a series of incredible doors that no one seemed to mind me passing through, then wove myself among several, darker and much narrower corridors. Double doors in front were chained from within. Now, do I turn right? Or do I turn left and climb this narrow staircase? I chose the narrow staircase which was so quiet, that I dare not make a sound to keep in tune with its nature.

At the top, was a smaller door, and through it I could hear a melodic shrilling. I felt I knew at once where I was. The music kindly yet fearfully compelled me to turn the handle. I gently pushed... Inside was like the inside of a human stomach, it was red, warm, grandiose, and nurturing a sonic life. I had stepped into rehearsals! Oh dear. I quickly tucked myself away into my chest and legs, and strategically crept my way into the room, making sure to close the door behind me in complete silence.

The Orchestra was perfect and I didn't want to disturb it. I hid behind a wall and caught glimpses of what I could. Candelabra filled with electricity, and bulbs that replaced flame. Red and gold, red and gold. A singer's voice joined the colours- It filled the hollows of my stomach and rose sweetly, bouncing around in my ears. With the aid of no microphone, it was the first time I had heard such a voice in such a venue.

I had never truly considered giving attention to opera before, and it seems like a bit of a leap and a bound from my usual track list, but it is really something I would recommend to be experienced first-hand!

With all my adventures, I whisked back to the studio to share them with my boss. We talked over my sketches and notes, and discussed a lot regarding history, design, illustration, and process.

What I have learnt is to have more conviction and confidence with my illustration work. Although I admire the sharpest ideas and cleanest, most minimal communication, it was suggested that I am filled with a lot more warmth and liveliness than some of the minimalistic concepts I'd presented.

I contemplated this up to the following night and began to draw up ideas for the poster, which would focus on promoting the Royal Opera House. Here is my progress so far (which is very raw and in such early stages!):

As my internship was a short yet special one, I am continuing to work on the poster and my illustration for it in my own time, with love and amendments. I look forward to sharing it with you once it's complete!

I hope to bring prints and more blog posts into the world soon. Thanks for all your love and encouragement!


  1. Anonymous29.9.13

    It sounds like you had a really wonderful time :) I love Covent Garden- did you visit the Toy Theatre shop in the Piazza? Its one of my favorite shops of all time, so playful and beautiful <3
    And WOW how exciting to see a rehearsal in the ROH! It is also my favorite part of Covent garden, your description of it is perfect and captures exactly what I love about it. I've seen two shows there, The Marriage of Figaro and Alice in Wonderland, and I feel that just seeing them in that venue heightened the atmosphere. I feel that your vibrant colours and composition in your poster capture this atmosphere too <3

    1. Aww, thanks 'u' <3

      Yes- Before I'd even stepped into the Toy Theatre shop I had immediately had you in mind! It really made in the mood for our collaboration <3

      The Marriage of Figaro is currently running at the Royal Opera House, would you recommend it? :D Debating whether to grab some tickets for Ben and I.

      Alice in Wonderland? Was this the ballet which ran during Christmas a couple of years back with that magnificent and enormous Cheshire cat?

    2. Anonymous5.10.13

      Yes, it was that Alice in Wonderland, it was really spectacular to watch, and the abstract music was really powerful :) And I definitely recommend Figaro! Its really light hearted and funny, with alot of different and exaggerated characters...and of course Mozart does very charming music, so its definitely one to watch if you've never seen an opera before! :)

  2. I enjoy posts like this. Thank you!
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